What happens when day trading turns from investing to addiction?

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) – The buying, the selling and the frenzy of trading attracted many people to the stock market in recent weeks. Especially with the brief inflation of GameStop stock. 

While a lot of people were watching their accounts to make a quick profit, there was another group watching to make sure people didn’t become addicted to day trading. 

1-800 GAMBLER in West Virginia has been around for 20 years, and they said in that time they’ve only gotten a handful of calls related to the stock market. 

Once day trading became popular and accessible right at our fingertips on smart phones, the calls went up. 

About 1 in 50 West Virginians have a problem with gambling. 

Shelia Moran, Director of Communication and Marketing, First Choice Services

First Choice Services, which is the company that runs 1-800-GAMBLER, explained most people who gamble on anything from slot machines to the stock market don’t have a problem. 

However, there are some who get addicted to the thrill of winning big, or stuck in the spiral of recouping their losses. 

A lot of people will remember the wins. They’ll remember the stock jumps, but they won’t remember the losses.

Shelia Moran, Director of Communication and Marketing, First Choice Services

Moran said it’s important to recognize when there’s a problem, and there are clear indications. 

If you’re at a point where you’re spending money that you don’t have and for instance, you’re borrowing money from people or using your credit card, then that can be a sign that it’s an issue.

Shelia Moran, Director of Communication and Marketing, First Choice Services

If you’re lying about how much you’ve spent, vow to quit but keep gambling or trading or feel like you can’t get away, then it’s time to seek help. 

They’re constantly getting mobile notifications that they should invest more, invest in a certain company, and so it’s just keeping them glued to their phone and um adding money to the account.

Shelia Moran, Director of Communication and Marketing, First Choice Services

It only takes one bet or stock purchase to get addicted, and it only takes one phone call or online chat to start overcoming the addiction. 

Sometimes people say ‘can you just give me the solution, the answer over the phone?’. We might be able to give just you know some tips and advice, but generally most people who hare really crossed over into addiction will need treatment, at least a few sessions with a professional counselor who specializes in this.

Shelia Moran, Director of Communication and Marketing, First Choice Services

They have around 60 specially trained counselors who can help. Many of them are doing telehealth appointments due to COVID-19, so treatment is more convenient.

About 30 percent of the calls to 1-800-GAMBLER are from family or friends seeking help for a loved one. 

If you think you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1800gambler.net.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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